A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter G

So here we are with Letter G of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

G stands for….

Google

Okay, so I’m not a big fan of Google, yet I use it lots! When doing academic research there are alternatives that I rely on (see other posts) but for general surfing  I often use Google. Used with caution, with a well thought out search strategy it can be useful!

However it is not just a search engine!

There are many options available

 

Bibliography Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57

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Science Research Session

Yesterday I went into a post 16 (Year 12) Science lesson to discuss how they approach their research.

Where do they start when given a piece of research?

Not surprisingly the top two answers were…

Google and Wikipedia.

So we discussed some of the pitfalls of each of these options, pointed out ways to use these safely; to get reliable and relevant  information from them and a few hints and tips, before going onto show them some alternatives.

These alternatives can be found via the Oliver Homepageand not only would these provide a more reliable place to start  a research project, would, with practice save you valuable time.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Have a look at the Research Guides for details on how to use the databases.
 

Google Tip 2

Research Hint: Google tip

1 KEEP IT SIMPLE

“Use search terms the way you’d like to see them on a Web site. But think of how the author would phrase it.”

keyword umbrella

Would they use American spellings? Or more technical terms? Think about what people would say and how they would say it to find alternatives.

So if you can’t find what you want with your first keyword(s) think about common terms and phrases and try again.

“Stay on topic and keep it simple.” Barseghian 2011

 

Bibliography Barseghian, Tina. (2011). 12 Ways To Be More Search Savvy. Available: http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/cracking-the-code-to-the-best-google-search/. Last accessed 06/11/2011. Google Inc.2011. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved6 September 2011, from all/comptons/article-301005

Happy 13th Birthday Google

The original Google homepage first appeared in November 1998. So it looks like Google is here to stay, having been around and developing for 13 years.google blog

There are other search engines but Google has managed to become a household name across the world. About 70 percent of all online searching goes through Google.

The name Google was derived from a misspelling of the word googol, a mathematical term for the number onegoogol followed by 100 zeroes.

I google, you google, we google.

The word Google was officially recognised as a verb in 2001.

Merriam-Webster defines Google as “to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web”.

Research Hint: Google tip 1

CONTROL F

“A deceptively simple tool, the Control F allows you to immediately find the word you’re looking for on a page. After you’ve typed in your search, you can jump directly to the word or phrase in the search list. 90 percent of Internet users don’t know this, and spend valuable time scrolling through pages of information trying to find their key word.” Barseghian 2011

Bibliography

Barseghian, Tina. (2011). 12 Ways To Be More Search Savvy. Available: http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/cracking-the-code-to-the-best-google-search/. Last accessed 06/11/2011.

Google Inc.2011. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved6 September 2011, from all/comptons/article-301005

Yr 9 BTEC Science

I’m popping into Year 9 BTEC Science lessons this week to advise them how to research more quickly and find the best, most reliable sources of information. Freeing them up to do the things they want to do!

We’ve been looking at the pitfalls of relying on Wikipedia (unreliable, who created the information and having to check the information in more reliable sources).

The inefficiencies of Search Engines like Google – which roughly only searches 3% of the information available on the web – and still brings you a hit list of thousands of articles, that no one has the time or the willpower to read through.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Instead I reminded the students about the Oliver Homepage, Searching for keywords to find the best books and websites on our database, and showing them some of the online databases they can use courtesy of the MRC. I gave quick demonstrations of Britannica Online; NewsBank; InfoTrac and Clipbank; plus I pointed out the guides to referencing and bibliographies.

They spent the rest of the lesson researching topics like electromagnetic spectrum and BP Oil Spills and were able to find videos and newspaper articles as well as books and websites. Cool.

Let’s hope they remember the next time they are set some research based work.

Creative Commons – A quick guide to using images ethically

We all know how tempting it is when we are in a hurry to quickly copy and paste pictures from the web straight into our work.

But have you ever thought about who actually owns those picture….

There are ways of sharing your own pictures (and protecting them) as well as finding pictures that the owners actually want to share.

This is called Creative Commons, take a quick look at the slideshow below.

Quick links to Creative Commons own search, Flickr’s Creative Commons Advanced Search and Google’s Advanced Image Search are below – why not give them a try and use images ethically (legally).

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons own Search

Google

Creative Commons in Googles Advanced Image Search

Flickr

Creative Commons found on Flickr Advanced Search